In-line inspection (ILI) tools such as the Magnetic flux leakage (MFL) intelligent pigs play an increasingly important role in the integrity assessment of pipelines. However, optimal decision making regarding the pipeline integrity and future actions must carefully account for the influence of all uncertainties associated with resolution of the MFL technology, the measurement of defect characteristics, pipeline material properties, operational loads, and the spatial and temporal characteristics of the corrosion process.
The paper proposes an approach to modeling the uncertainties and inaccuracies associated with common ILI processes keeping in mind that the ultimate objective is to facilitate decision making with respect to the current and future conditions of the pipeline. This includes decisions about maintenance, frequency and extent of future inspections, lifetime reliability, resource allocation and integrity management.
Keywords: pipeline ILI, integrity management, uncertainties, reliability-based inspection.